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Tesla FR-S?

Tesla and Toyota have a respectable working relationship. I keep thinking of an electric version of the Scion FR-S (I know it is already a joint venture with Subaru, but ???). Currently the car sells starting at $25K, it is very popular, well built and weighs around 2700 lbs. Assuming a 40 to 50 kw/hr battery and the smaller motor 235 ish hp. The car should still come in around 3000 lbs, 200 miles per charge and a sub 6 second 0-60, for just shy of $40K ??? Who knows, Tesla might be able to manufacture them in house too, with their equipment. Could be a nice interim while waiting for the Gen III.

I like this idea. My son is 15 and just learning to drive. He thinks the FRS/BDZ are cool.

What makes you say "waiting for the GenIII"? TM's financial, material, and brainpower resources are fully occupied, not in need of something to keep them busy.

Gen III will be a 100% new model and still a couple of years out. FR-S/BRZ is already in production, i.e. crash test certified, etc. 40 kw/hr Model S just got canx. Essentially (in simplified terms) produce the components that were designated for the 40 kw/hr and transplant them into FR-S gliders. They are already front engine, RWD. Only a fraction of the design and labor would use current personnel. It could be done parallel to the Model S line and GEN III development with minimal disruption. It broadens their product offering as well as increasing revenue and exposure. Plus the only drawback of the current FR-S and BRZ is their lack of low end torque. Lastly, no one else is doing a sport model, competition is mounting for the GEN III car.

Wouldn't work without extensive engineering overhaul.

Tesla's time is better spent in house for the time being.

@Vawlkus | APRIL 15, 2013: Wouldn't work without extensive engineering overhaul.

Right, this is what Tesla discovered with the Roadster.

It does just boil down to dreaming, but the FR-S is a much better candidate than the Elise was. The FR-S is front engine rear drive, 4 passenger. Elise was rear engine. I also assume that the Elise was flat bottomed and the the FR-S will have a floor higher than the rocker pinch welds because of exhaust and driveline considerations. So, electric motor replaces differential and is mounted to rear cradle. Battery configured similar to Model S and can also use tunnel space. Front compartment lays out just like the Model S, with the coolers and electric pumps and drives all within the previous engine compartment.

Front engine rear drive puts the weight in exactly the lowest traction place; why is that better?

I've just as much hoped to see Tesla do batteries for an all-electric Lexus.

The catch is, Tesla's designs are electric from the ground up, with engineering that works electric power to full advantage. The FR-S probably doesn't have room in the right places to put the battery along the floorboard. Electrified other cars, even ones with Tesla-made batteries, like the electric RAV4, smart fortwo, or Mercedes B class, don't have the range or performance of Tesla-branded cars; they don't get 0-60 below 5 seconds or 200+ mile range; they get about twice the 0-60 time and half the distance. I'd like to see Toyota and Daimler work with Tesla to bring properly engineered and developed all-electric Toyotas/Lexus/Scions and Mercedes/Smarts with the same advantages that Tesla natives get.

Addendum: but, not until Tesla has already firmly entrenched itself as a major brand rather than that upstart that doesn't seem to go away the way the naysayers keep wanting it to.

With regards to front engine rear drive, I was emphasizing that the car is already rear wheel drive. It has an independent rear end, so the rear diff can be traded out for the electric motor assy with some work to the cradle, the front engine compartment would end up wide open for all the accessory components like the Model S has. The floor configuration currently has to accommodate exhaust systems, i.e. raised. There is a tunnel for the drive shaft, even more room for batteries. The back seats are already worthless, so even more room and make two passenger (if needed). The Elise had little to no front compartment, flat bottomed, no real room for batteries, no extra room in the interior.

The original FR-S configuration is already balanced at 50/50 so other than additional weight, the balance is good to go.

The FR-S wheelbase is 15" shorter and the width is 7" less. The Model S battery is supposedly (approx.) 8'L x 5'W x 4" thick. So still plenty of room under the FR-S. So, once again simple calculations, leaves 75% battery size of the S without utilizing the tunnel or any other area.

Just thinking about it.


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